In Alqur’an surah Al-Mujaadilah verses 11, Allah says :”….Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks. And Allah is well-acquainted with what you do.”

The verse above implies that besides faith, knowledge also plays a significant role in determining someone’s status. Sure! A person with knowledge can be likened to a bowl of sugar that attracts hordes of ants. He provides favor both for himself and his surrounding environment. People will honor him since they want to gain benefit from him.

Moreover, if the scholar is sincere in applying his knowledge as guided by Islam, Allah will of course provide an equal reward. When someone passes away and all deeds cease, the rewards for beneficial knowledge will continue to flow. The best knowledge is that which is realized in a deed. The best deed is the sincere one.

Then what is the essence of beneficial knowledge? According to Islamic law, a science will be beneficial if it contains goodness – a benefit value for human beings and the environment. But, the benefit will be meaningless if it fails to make the owner more pious to Allah, the Owner of All Knowledge. Knowledge may increase a person’s nobility and status in the eyes of other humans, but not automatically before Allah.


From a mystic’s point of view, the definition of beneficial knowledge is, “Beneficial knowledge whereby the light widens the breast and opens the partition of the sincere heart”.


Imam Malik s/o Anas may Allah bless him, said: “Knowledge is not cleverness of intellect as many people believe it to be, but it is the light that Allah bestows upon human being’s heart”. Knowledge functions by leading people towards piety to Allah and leading them away from arrogance.

We frequently see people suffering miserably due to their lack of knowledge. Despite their high positions, they are unable to perform the mandate entrusted to them, thus misery ensues.

We must be thirsty for knowledge if we want a better future life. Every day we must try to expand our knowledge. When watching TV, select programmes that contribute to increasing our knowledge. If we can afford it, we should enroll in courses that can educate us in knowledge, insight and experience, then, we should also build relations with other knowledge seekers.

Our obligation to learn only ends at our death . We will experience life’s chances second by second. We get older and our time on earth shortens, our needs increase, our body weakens and the potentiality of problems increases. We must be prepared to encounter all this by knowing how to deal with it.

Knowledge is essential. How can we deal with changes without increasing our knowledge? Unless the changing conditions in our environment are balanced with an increase in knowledge we only experience emotion and stress.

A lack of knowledge is a lack of wisdom. Emotion becomes uncontrollable and a person relies more on bruteforce and anger to express himself. When his anger peaks, he loses the ability to distinguish right from wrong.

We must start now to create a continuos learning program. Wherever, whenever, and with whomsoever we are, our activities must have knowledge content. We must not be complacent with the knowledge we have but must strive to release ourselves from the tyranny of stupidity.

It is true that material support assists the search for knowledge. With money we have a greater opportunity to attend courses, formal school, purchase books, etc. Nonetheless, it does not mean that financial limitations prevent us from seeking out knowledge. There are many alternative ways to gain knowledge and commit to a lifelong learning attitude.

Material, physical, and technical limit will never obstruct a person from learning if his commitment is strong enough. Syekh Ahmad Yasin, who suffers from severe paralysis, has extraordinary knowledge: the fruit of a tough and serious commitment to seek it out. He has been able to apply his broad knowledge to lead HAMAS effectively and consequently the world is somewhat in awe of him.

From now on, whenever you meet your friend ask him, “ what kind of knowledge did you gain today?” “What kind of knowledge did you apply today”? etc. It will be more useful than idle chatting.

Only person who upgrades himself can live in an ocean of wisdom and view life wisely. Like a ship in an ocean, it will not rock and sink in the sorm because the cargo is full of knowledgeable people. A house may burn down, a car may be stolen, but no one can steal knowledge and its application.

Understanding the meaning of life means we can face the ups and downs of life with confidence, unlike the uneducated person who will act erratically. When he has money he will throw it around but when he is short of money he will lose hope, and fall into despair.

Learning is a life-long task. We need to exert our mind to find ways to change current wrongly held paradigms. Most people feel that their “struggle” is over the day they take their final exams, whereas, in fact, we only encounter life’s problems after leaving school or university. It is a great mistake to think that learning ceases on leaving school or university. We must change this way of thinking. We need people who do not rely on a certificate sheet but people who seek noble character and capability.

Knowledge is expensive. One day, a woman was on a journey when car broke down. She became flushtered but Alhamdulilah, many people offered to help her to push the car to the kerb. The woman and the helpers tried to fix the problem but finally a mechanic was called. After only a few minutes fiddling inside the car the mechanical got it to work again. The woman looked on in surprise because prior to the mechanic she had also tinkered with the same elements.

It is true that she had worked on the same components, but she had applied herself without knowledge, it was only when the mechanic applied his knowledge skills that the car engine was restored. The women compensated the mechanic with Rp. 10.000,00 but, he refused it because the amount was too small. Of course the woman protested since she was of the opinion that Rp. 50.000,00 was too much to pay,it was not equal to the service rendered. Calmly, the mechanic agreed that repairing her car took no effort and he only charged Rp. 500,00 for that, but he charged Rp. 49.500,00 to compensate for his knowledge.

The lesson here is that we must not belittle other people’s knowledge, including the work of mechanics or any manual labourers. A doctor may not have the knowledge of a pedicab driver and vice versa. It is important to create a synergy and share knowledge to benefit all. The best people are those learning Al-Qur’an and teaching it to others and of course it will be benefit many people. Wallahua’lam ( source :Muslim Executive & Expatriate 7th Edition 2006)

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